Guide to isthmic spondylolisthesis

Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra slips over the top of another one in the spine, appearing to hang over the lower vertebra. Unlike congenital or degenerative spondylolisthesis, isthmic spondylolisthesis is not a condition that a person is born with and it is not due to aging. Rather, this condition is caused by fractures in the spine, usually due to sports injuries stemming from overuse or trauma to the back. Oftentimes, this condition started in childhood and simply did not cause symptoms until adulthood when it became more severe. Read on to learn about the conservative and surgical treatments available to get you on the road to recovery and ultimately provide you with lasting relief.

Recovery tips for isthmic spondylolisthesis

Recovery from isthmic spondylolisthesis can be helped by:

  • Weight management
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Core strengthening
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Eating a healthy diet

This condition is most commonly found in the lumbar (lower) region of the back. While most cases of spondylolisthesis do not cause any symptoms, more severe cases can cause symptoms including pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, muscle spasms and stiffness.

Treatments for isthmic spondylolisthesis

Treatments available to help make recovering from isthmic spondylolisthesis more bearable include:

  • Steroid injections
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy

Conservative treatments should always be attempted first before considering surgery. If your symptoms from isthmic spondylolisthesis do not improve significantly after several weeks or months of nonsurgical therapies, your physician may then recommend spondylolisthesis surgery. Traditional spinal fusion is a common surgery option for this condition; however, it is a highly invasive surgery with a long, sometimes exhausting, recovery period.

Laser Spine Institute offers a shorter recovery period and a safer and effective alternative to traditional spinal fusion^ through our multiple minimally invasive stabilization (MIS) procedures. These outpatient procedures accomplish the same goals as traditional spinal fusion but offer many advantages, such as smaller incisions, lower complication rates and lower infection rates.^

Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic conditions. For more information on recovering from isthmic spondylolisthesis, treatments for the condition and the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.

We’ll have our knowledgeable staff review your MRI at no-cost* and let you know if you’re a potential candidate for one of our procedures.